To the editor:
Last week I had a professor call our current president a bastard, and in the same sentence she managed to dub Margaret Thatcher a bitch. This is not the first time such appalling judgments were spouted during my English literature classes. I had a professor wishing Rumsfeld would be eaten by alligators once.
As we all know, Geneseo welcomes free speech but that is not the issue; instead I am irritated by the general hostility towards conservatives on this campus. One might argue we are in college now and are therefore equipped with the mental apparatus to exercise our own judgments on others' opinions, but I find it difficult to believe a student wouldn't be met with rebuke if he/she were to term Hillary Clinton a "bitch" in a classroom. Anne Coulter, fine, but Hillary, oh, goodness no (well, maybe for her touted conservative tendencies would allowances be made to slander her)!
My ardently feminist professor would probably flip into a tizzy and proceed to shut the speaker down, especially for debasing a liberal - no-no number one. There are a number of things wrong with name-calling in a literature class. First off, it's just that, a literature class, and I expect to be learning about literature and not my professor's vendettas against (almost exclusively conservative) political figures. Not that being in a political science class would make insulting remarks in any better taste.
In addition to slander being inappropriate in the first place, it flew out of nowhere, an example of the potency of negative juice against our current commander-in-chief. We were discussing Thatcherism briefly which, surprise, surprise, was represented in a supremely negative light (hence the "bitch" comment) but spurning off into Bush-bashing was mere indulgence on the part of the professor.
At the heart of the issue are cruel, bloody, passionate politics. Bush is conservative and therefore not liberal, and liberalism, unlike popular sentiment floating around the media that it is a "dirty" word, claims the moral high ground and conservatives deal with the negative stigma as well as the burden of proof.
One's moral agenda is immediately questioned and probed if he/she supports the president, whereas flagrant attacks on his personal behavior are launched left and right and no one seems to mind. It is the norm. Educated arguments against our president's actions and policies are a welcome topic of discussion, but the mindless Bush-bashing is not. I'm disappointed when hostility erupts from someone I'm looking for to guide me in making educated decisions in my life. Hostile partisanship is, after all, quite undemocratic if one thinks it through carefully enough.